Some suggestions for people with deep colouring


Last week I did a colour consultation for Giorgia, who has deep brown eyes and lovely dark brown hair. As soon as I had draped her in deeper shades something wonderful happened – we both knew that these colours were absolutely right for her. The deepest green, strong purple, reds with lots of body, midnight blue and dark brown all looked terrific and just united themselves with her eyes, hair and skin and slightly purple-pink lips. These saturated colours just made her eyes sparkle, her hair shine and the darkish circles under her eyes more or less disappeared. We knew immediately that we had found the colour set that worked best for her.

Giorgia’s secondary colour direction is cool so she will have lots of fun putting more deep, cooler colours into her wardrobe. Giorgia (who I met at Morley and did some cling film wrapping with)  told me that she avoided black as she found it boring (it can be), and that she loves colour, which is always very exciting. If you can wear black but like colour I think very dark brown and midnight blue are great substitutes for your best neutrals (eg shoes, little black dresses, coats etc).  I suggested she always should wear a deeper colour, and not just black shoes, even if she selects lighter or medium toned outfits. It was the depth of colour near her face that was so elegant and harmonious.

A few days later a friend came to see me at work. She walked in wearing black and navy, with silver accessories. I know that when I suggested navy and brown one or two people thought it was a strange combination. But for years I thought navy and black was a bit dodgy myself. Susmita wore the two colours together beautifully.

The thing is the colours that have the same qualities always work together well. All muted shades, all warm colours, all the lighter shades etc – they just like being together.

I showed Giorgia this by putting all the deeper greens together on her and then adding the strong yellow. The deep purples looked great with the strong rust colours, the saturated magenta and the deepest reds. The feeling of strength that these shades elicit harmonise so well with the deep shades in Giorgia’s and Susmita’s natural colouring. Of course if deeps suit you then you can also wear white and pastels to good effect, but they will always look best contrasted with deeper colours. Say a white dress with dark brown shoes and belt rather than pale pink, for example. These women with blacks and dark browns in their hair and eyes can wear stronger contrasts than people with muted or lighter colouring. Here is Giorgia in a black and white (strong contrast) dress with black tights and boots and bright red lipstick – a great look.

Giorgia in her “Snow Leopard” dress

Would you wear black with navy?


15 Responses

  1. Vancouver Barbara

    It seems very French, very Parisian to wear navy with black or brown with black. On the right woman each can look very chic.

  2. Sam

    I know that black and navy together were frowned on for a long time, but I think the combination looks very elegant, stylish and cool.

  3. ceci

    I would disappear in black/navy (pale pinky skin, grey/khaki hair, pale hazel eyes…..) but it is very striking on your featured guest! Would love to see either of them in the strong brights you include in the color chips.


  4. Karen

    This post is so timely. As a 69 year old retiree I constantly preach to my friends that a flattering color flash can be your BFF. As women age skin can loose brightness so by enhancing it with flattering colors can make the face come alive. Of course navy and brown can be worn with black but, IMHO, a pop of color with them does wonders.

  5. Sue

    Georgia does look beautiful in that black and white dress, and the blue and black looks terribly elegant on your friend. I am fascinated by the effects of colour, but have no idea what season I am, or even which colours really suit me. I tend to wear what I’m attracted to but feel that this has to be a fundamentally flawed approach. Next time we meet up I might get you to “do” me!

  6. Kerry

    I think Giorgia would look good in just about anything! She is gorgeous. Your friend wearing the black and navy outfit has done it with style and elegance and I think that makes a huge difference to any outfit/colour choices a woman wears. Just the other day I found a pair of work shoes I haven’t worn for years; they are navy, very elegant and super comfy (Italian leather!) I realised I don’t wear them because I no longer wear navy outfits and would ‘never’ team them with black (we do a lot of black in Melbourne). But it no longer felt like a ‘sin’ to wear them with black…so in answer to your question, I think I WILL wear my lovely navy shoes again, and definitely with black. Come to think of it, more recently I had (not sure what happened to it) a navy and black dress in contrast panels that I liked to wear and that didn’t mess with my mind like separates in black and navy might still do!

    • fabrickated

      Thank you Kerry. Yes, Giorgia does look good in most colours actually, but she looked best in the deeper ones. I remember now I had a nice mid navy silk dress with some black trim on it – while I don’t usually wear black the beading made it look suitable for evening and I wore it quite a lot.

  7. Bonnie

    I wear black and navy together only by accident. I generally have strong color perception but often can’t tell the two colors apart in certain light. I once bought suit separates in a tiny houndstooth plaid I thought matched — until I got to work and under fluorescent light found the jacket was one color and the skirt another. I sat very still the whole day and when I got home, I pressed the garments and took them back to the store. At no other time in my life have I returned a worn garment. (My husband even quit buying navy socks because they always ended up mismatched with the black ones when I did laundry.)

    • fabrickated

      Thank you for your true confession Bonnie – I have never done this but I remember being with a friends Mum and it got warm outside. She took off her cardigan and took it back to Marks and Spencers who always took things back even when they had been worn or laundered. I think they have a tighter policy now.

  8. Annie

    Both women look well put together in their outfits.

    I have a sallow tinge (some pinks are hideous on me) and I wouldn’t put that combination together believing that one or the other should be the dominant colour, I have almost eliminated black from my clothing and dark blue can look as harsh so I keep that colour away from my face. The comment about shoes got me thinking too, I always have to match my shoes to what’s happening on my legs, I own and love the idea of coloured footwear but always discard them if my feet stand out, my objective is to blend the feet and outfit.

    Recently I have been giving some thought to colour values and how to combine.

    Another post that’s got me thinking, thanks Kate.

  9. Giorgia

    Soooo flattered to be featured in this post K! Once again, thanks so much for the time and patience in our consultation and for keeping up the tips and techniques going on your blog, it’s really useful. I’m sure we’ll end up talking about colour a great deal more in the future.

    How interesting how both of us thought I was going to end up Bright at the beginning, and we were proved wrong by facts. Especially when it comes to colour it’s hard to trust one own’s eyes if what we see goes against our ingrained assumptions. Again, incredibly valuable!

  10. Michelle

    I’ve never thought of black and navy going together but your friend looks so elegant in her outfit that clearly the right shades on the right person work perfectly.

    I am fascinated by the way certain colours and shades look better on some people than others. Having that knowledge must make buying fabric so much easier! I’ve lost my way and confidence with colours since going grey, so I shall look out for any hints and advice in future posts.

    Thanks for such an interesting post.

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